Caught Red-Handed! (Also: Sultanof Booked)
Well, this one is priceless.
Sunrise City Commissioner Sheila Alu had noticed that her campaign signs were disappearing all around town. So she says she decided to drive around to try to catch the culprit.
And Alu, who is also a state prosecutor, found her man. Unbelievably, the above photo is a shot Alu took with her cell phone of her opponent, Lou Caravella, snatching one of her signs earlier today.
Alu phoned police, who declined to arrest Caravella because it's an alleged misdemeanor offense and it wasn't witnessed by police. Probably not an unwise decision -- but boy, does that photo illustrate the pettiness of politics.
UPDATED: The photo was taken in front of Sunrise Lakes Condos, Phase I, where Caravella is condo president. There were many signs there and Alu says her signs kept disappearing. She was literally driving around trying to catch the person in the act and saw Caravella's car there and caught him taking the sign. She yelled at him to put her sign back and the photo is actually Caravella putting the sign back into the ground after he snatched it. Alu called the police on the spot. There's a report. Caravella admitted to the police that he wrongfully took the sign and apologized, said Alu, who is pursuing the criminal case.
UPDATE II: Got Caravella on the phone. He admitted to the whole thing.
"Someone had destroyed one of my signs -- I'm not saying she did it -- so out of frustration I got mad and I took her sign down," said Caravella. "I know two wrongs don't make a right and I know i shouldn't have done it. Frustration got the better of me. I apologized."
Doesn't answer who took the other Alu signs that had her on watch, but good enough.
Inside, a first look at former Tamarac Commissioner Marc Sultanof's mug shot and the damning evidence.
Sultanof, as we reported would happen yesterday, has turned himself in on the usual charges -- bribery, unlawful compensation, official misconduct, etc.
Sultanof, 89, allegedly accepted tens of thousands of dollars from dirty developers Bruce and Shawn Chait for his new Honda Accord. A forensic accountant employed by the State Attorney's Office found that Sultanof had deposited $39,169 in cash beginning in 2006 wth no discernible source of income for the money. That, according to the affidavit, was consistent with the Chaits' testimony that they'd been giving Sultanof cash payments.
All the while, Sultanof was supporting the Chaits' controversial housing project on two golf courses in his city.
Waiting on more info, but make no mistake about the significance of this arrest. It's huge. Yes, Sultanof is 89-years-old, but he has been the face of condo corruption for many years, backing the same old questionable candidates and using his influence at Kings Point in dubious ways. It's no coincidence that Democratic Chairman Mitch Ceasar's base of power is there -- it's a wonderful place to run a racket and it's the heart of electoral power in Broward County. Summing up, this is a strike at the very heart of the culture of Broward corruption. You just have to wonder if the condo residents, who are so good at denying reality, will pay attention and try to do their part in cleaning up the county.
My money says that Sultanof strikes a deal with prosecutors and escapes any serious jail time.
-- Due to the insane theories about the shot of Caravella taking the Alu sign, I've decided to put up a less-cropped photo below (which proves it's not in Caravella's garden):
Yeah, dude was busted.
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